Kintsugi is a Process
It’s 2020 and everything is cracked and needs some kind of glue to stick it together… do you know the Japanese Kintsugi process of repairing porcelain pottery with gold. The method highlights the cracks instead of disguising them or throwing out the piece altogether.
Welcome to the start of a new school year. The preparation stage before anything “big” is exhilarating, and even more so when it’s for the start of a new academic year. Purchasing all of the pretty color- coordinated school supplies and organizing them in the dedicated study space for your idyllic child is any parent’s dream come true. (I’m slightly joking). This prep stage has been quite interesting for the lucky parents and children and incredibly agonizing and scary for others less fortunate. So many unknowns and so many rearrangements. Along with the pestering thought in the back of our collective mind – “Am I doing the right thing for my family?”
For the perfectionist, this time period is difficult because disorganization, change, and unpredictability uncovers deep feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, and lack of control. It’s messy. Mistakes happen because there is a learning curve for everyone. But, for perfectionists who have unrealistic expectations and tend to pride themselves on being above the standard, this is a forceful reckoning of their humanness. Many try to fight it by becoming rigidly bound to their To-Do Lists, by micromanaging everyone else’s schedule, behaviors, even feelings, by researching projects and tutoring through the wee hours of the night, I could go on. Others numb out with over shopping, eating, drinking and/or drugs, over-exercising, procrastinating the inevitable, etc. In the end, none of it helps because the focus is on the outside and not dealing with the real issue at hand.
The real issue is our (in)ability to cope with life’s changes/ challenges. Some take too little accountability and others sweep the responsibility away from everyone else. There is a fine line between being the protagonist in your life’s story but understanding that everyone else is the protagonist in their story. When we feel like we must control everything so the world can function, we are bound to burn out.
I used to say that I walked around holding a porcelain plate on every finger of each hand to keep everything balanced out. It wasn’t until I let all of the proverbial plates fall that I started to actually find balance and flow. And in that process, I came across this beautiful term called “kintsugi” which is a kintsugi” which is a Japanese method of repairing porcelain pottery with gold. The method highlights the cracks instead of disguising them or throwing out the piece altogether. The method highlights the cracks instead of disguising them or throwing out the piece altogether. It takes the essence of what is and makes the best of it. So, for this new season of 2020, let’s try to embrace the flaws and the awesomeness of it all. Hard to do, but not impossible. Here’s to a great Fall 2020.